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Maurice Adelman, Jr. papers

Identifier: GTM-940101

Collection level scope note

The Maurice Adelman, Jr. Papers consist of correspondence, pamphlets, and clippings by and about John Cardinal Wright. The collection comprises 1 linear foot of material and is arranged in 64 folders in 2 boxes. The collection holds about 150 personal letters from John Cardinal Wright to Maurice Adelman, along with correspondence between Adelman and some of Wright's friends concerning such issues as Wright's will and literary rights, the future writing of Wright's biography, as well as many personal matters. The collection also contains a number of pamphlets by Wright on religion and philosophy produced in the 1960s, a copy of Wright's will, and numerous newsclippings regarding the Cardinal, especially those appearing around the time of his death.


  • 1957-1990

Conditions governing access note

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.

Biographical note, Adelman and Wright

Maurice Adelman, Jr. was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island and attended Georgetown University Law School from which he received an LL.B. in 1958. After living in Washington, D.C. for many years afterwards, he moved to New York where he practiced law with the firm Spitzer & Feldman. He retired to Savannah, Georgia. Maurice Adelman, Jr. died in Savannah, Georgia on March 17, 1999.

The Maurice Adelman, Jr. Papers consist of correspondence, pamphlets, and clippings by and about John Cardinal Wright. John Joseph Wright was born in the predominately Irish Dorchester section of Boston on July 18, 1909, the son of John Joseph and Harriet (Cokely) Wright. He was educated at the Boston Latin School, Boston College (B.A. 1931), and the Gregorian University, Rome (S.T.L. 1936; S.T.D. 1939). While engaged in studies at North American College, Wright was ordained to the Priesthood, December 8 1939. Wright returned to his native Archdiocese of Boston after completing his studies and was assigned to teach at St. John's Seminar in Brighton until 1945 when he was named secretary to William Cardinal O'Connell, the archbishop of Boston. On June 30, 1947, Wright was consecrated titular bishop of Aegea and Auxiliary Bishop of Boston where he served until his installation as the first Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, March 7 1950. On march 18, 1959, Wright was installed as the eighth Bishop of Pittsburgh.

He served as Bishop of Pittsburgh until his creation as a cardinal priest on April 28, 1969, with the titular church of Jesus the Divine Teacher. Wright served in various capacities as the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and was chairman of the drafting committee for the first two postconciliar collective pastoral letters of the American bishops, The Church in Our Day (1967), and Human Life in Our Day (1868). He was also elected by the American hierarchy as a delegate to the first two synods of bishops in 1967 and 1969. On April 23, 1969, Wright was appointed the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy by Pop Paul VI, and in 1971 the Pope designated him one of three presidnets of the Second General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, at which point in time he moved to Rome. He was also appointed to two subsequent synods in 1974 on Evangelization and 1977 on Catechetics.

During the time of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Wright was named a memmber of the Theological Commission of the Preparatory Commission of the Council. He later noted that the most lasting fruits of the Commission's work included the "seed-ideas" contained in the chapters on collegiality, the laity and the Blessed Virgin in the Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, as well as in the section on the person, Christian anthropology, dialogue with atheism, marriage, and peace and war. John Cardinal Wright died August 10, 1979 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes x 0.50 lf)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Maurice Adelman, Jr., 1994.

Maurice Adelman, Jr. papers
Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Local Practice
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057